Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 21:26

For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken all his land out of his hand, as far as the Arnon.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Amorites;   Ar;   Arnon;   Heshbon;   Israel;   Sihon;   Thompson Chain Reference - Heshbon;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Amorites, the;   Cities;   Desert, Journey of Israel through the;   Moabites;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ammonites;   Amorites;   Canaanites;   Moabites;   Serpents;   Sihon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ammon;   Amorites;   Canaan;   Edom;   Heshbon;   Jabbok;   Moab;   Palestine;   Reuben;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Heshbon;   Moab;   Moabite;   Sihon;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ammon;   Amorite (the);   Ar;   Arnon;   Heshbon;   Hur;   Jephthah;   Medeba;   Moab;   Sihon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Amorites;   Conquest of Canaan;   Dibon;   Heshbon;   Medeba;   Moab and the Moabite Stone;   Nophah;   Reba;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Dibon;   Heshbon;   Israel;   Jephthah;   Medeba;   Moab, Moabites;   Numbers, Book of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Amorites ;   Arnon ;   Heshbon ;   Moab, Moabites ;   Sihon ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Mount hor;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ar;   Heshbon;   Sihon;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ar'non;   Hesh'bon;   Si'hon;   Zip'por;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - On to Canaan;   Moses, the Man of God;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ammon;   Amorites;   Former;   Moab;   Moses;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Arnon;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Aroer;   Moab;   Sihon;   Zippor;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

For Heshbon was the city of Sihon, etc. - It appears therefore that the territory now taken from Sihon by the Israelites was taken from a former king of Moab, in commemoration of which an epikedion or war song was made, several verses of which, in their ancient poetic form, are here quoted by Moses.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/numbers-21.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites,.... His royal city, where he kept his palace, where he had resided for some time, and perhaps some of his predecessors; and therefore being now in his possession when taken by the Israelites, they had a good right and title to keep it, and dwell in it: and indeed this is here given as a reason of it:

who had fought against the former king of Moab; either the king that reigned before Balak, or some king of Moab, that reigned formerly, against whom one of the name of Sihon, which might be a common name to the kings of the Amorites, as Pharaoh to the Egyptians, had engaged in war:

and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon; and had been in the hands of the Amorites some years; and therefore the Moabites had no reason to object to the Israelites dwelling in it, and possessing it, which they had not taken from them, but from the Amorites in a lawful war. And for proof of this, reference is had to the bards and poets of those times, who were the persons that transmitted in verse the history of famous actions to posterity.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For k Heshbon [was] the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon.

(k) For if it had been the Moabites, the Israelites might not have possessed it, (Deuteronomy 2:9).
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/numbers-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Heshbon — (Song of Solomon 7:4) - situated sixteen English miles north of the Arnon, and from its ruins it appears to have been a large city.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/numbers-21.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Moab it should seem had heretofore those cities, but now being in the possession of the Amorite, they were to be conquered by Israel by the divine appointment. Genesis 15:18-21. But, Reader, it is sweet to trace all mercies to their fountain head. Hence, therefore, if you consult another scripture on this occasion, you will discover that it was the LORD who gave Israel the victory. See Deuteronomy 2:30-37.

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Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/numbers-21.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon.

Was the city of Sihon — This is added as a reason why Israel took possession of this land, because it was not now the land of the Moabites, but in the possession of the Amorites.

The former king — The predecessor of Balak, who was the present king. See the wisdom of providence, which prepares long before, for the accomplishing God's purposes in their season! This country being designed for Israel, is before-hand put into the hand of the Amorites, who little think they have it but as trustees, till Israel comes of age. We understand not the vast reaches of providence: but known unto God are all his works!

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-21.html. 1765.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Numbers 21:26. Heshbon—the city of Sihon Heshbon was the capital city of the Amorites, and their king's seat; and Sihon is thought to be the name common to all the kings of the Amorites, as Pharaoh was to the kings of Egypt: so that the meaning is, that one of the kings of the Amorites made an inroad into the Kingdom of the Moabites, and took from them Heshbon, &c. Moses here remarks, that when the Israelites conquered those lands, they were not in the possession of the Moabites, but of the Amorites; and, consequently, that their title to them was good, notwithstanding the prohibition (Deuteronomy 9:19.) against meddling with the lands of the Moabites and Ammonites.

This precaution appears to have been very necessary; for we find that a contest arose afterwards, on this very head, between the Israelites and the Ammonites, Judges 11:13. THE former king of Moab, should rather be rendered a former king of Moab; for it is not certain that it was that king of Moab who reigned immediately before Sihon.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/numbers-21.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The city of Sihon: this is added as a reason why Israel took possession of this land, notwithstanding God’s prohibition of meddling with them or their land, Deuteronomy 2:9, because it was not now the land of the Moabites, but had been some time since taken from them, and in the possession of the Amorites.

The former king of Moab, i.e. the predecessor of Balak, who was the present king.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/numbers-21.html. 1685.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Numbers 21:26. Heshbon was the city of Sihon — This is added as a reason why Israel took possession of this land, because it was not now the land of the Moabites, but in the possession of the Amorites. The former king — The predecessor of Balak, who was the present king. See the wisdom of God’s providence, which prepares long before for the accomplishment of his purposes in their season! This country, being designed for Israel, is beforehand put into the hand of the Amorites, who little think they have it but as trustees, till Israel comes of age. We understand not the vast schemes of Providence: but known unto God are all his works!

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/numbers-21.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Arnon. Hence this territory, which formerly belonged to Moab, being taken in a just war, the Moabites could not lawfully retain it, as they attempted to do under Jephte, Judges xi. 13. (Grotius, Jur. iii. 6.) --- Hesebon, or Esbus, was the capital, and lay over-against Jericho, twenty miles from the Jordan.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-21.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/numbers-21.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(26) And taken all his land . . . —i.e., the land between the Arnon and the Jabbok, as it is explained in the last clause of the verse.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/numbers-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon.
Arnon
Arnon is a stream which takes its rise in the mountains of Moab, and, by a north-west course, during which it receives the waters of several streams, runs into the Dead sea. It is now called Wady Modjeb, and divides the province of Pelka from that of Kerek, as it formerly divided the kingdoms of the Moabites and Amorites. Its principal source is at a short distance to the north-east of Katrane, a station of the Syrian Hadj, where it is called Seyl Sayde; and lower down it receives the name of Esseim el Kereim, or Szefye.
Reciprocal: Numbers 32:3 - Heshbon;  Joshua 13:25 - half;  Joshua 21:39 - Heshbon;  Jeremiah 48:20 - Arnon

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-21.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

26.For Heshbon was the city of Sihon. It is not without cause that Moses relates how the country near Heshbon had passed into the hands of the Amorites, because a long time afterwards this was sought for as a pretext for war by the Ammonites, when they saw that the people were brought into a low estate. In the time of Jephthah, therefore, having collected a great army, an irruption was made by them; and they made this their excuse, that they took up arms to recover what was their own, from Arnon as far as Jabbok, and as far as Jordan. Consequently, God would have it testified in the sacred records, as Jephthah then replied to the Ammonites, that this part of the land was taken from king Sihon, when the children of Israel were marching peacefully through the borders of the Ammonites. Designedly, then, did Moses, in order to sanction the right of the people, insert in these authentic registers, as it were, what had formerly occurred, namely, that the Amorites had had the dominion over that part of the country, without interference from the Ammonites; nor was there any question that the Amorites had secure and peaceful possession of it. Hence it follows that it passed to the Israelites, so that there were no grounds why, three hundred years afterwards, the Ammonites should reclaim what had so long been lost and abandoned by them. And, in order that posterity might know that there was then no obscurity about the matter, he records an ancient canticle, from which it appears that the Ammonites were so completely overcome, that their enemies triumphed magnificently over them, and cut off all hope of their restoration. Here, however, the question arises, why the king of Ammon, rather than the king of Moab, set on foot that war; for we clearly gather from the song, that the land was taken from the Moabites. But for men who are bent on rapine and robbery, it is sufficient to allege any trivial pretext, and often to glory in the rights of others. There doubtless remained a report that the Amorites had been driven out of their territories, (131) which they had obtained by force of arms. The Ammonites pass over in silence what had been forgotten in the lapse of many ages, and set up this false title, that, although the Israelites had conquered the Amorites, still their victory conferred upon them no right to occupy what the Amorites unjustly and forcibly held. With this object Moses inserted the account he here gives.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:26". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/numbers-21.html. 1840-57.